"I think I know Mm," Mr. Munn had said, and nodded as
though on sudden recollection, not having ever laid eyes, as
far as he knew, on the man who was named Harris or Bunk
" I reckoned you might know him," she had rejoined. Then,
in that flat voice, almost with the tone of an afterthought, as
though the real business of her call were already settled, she
had remarked, " They got him in jail."
"In jail," Mr. Munn had repeated, not because of surprise,
but because of absent-mindedness, all the while wishing that
the woman would leave so he could go out home and get out
of the heat and sit on his porch with May.
" They come and got him this morning."
" What did they arrest him for?"
" He never done it," she had said.
"Killed him." She must have seen the question in Mr.
Munn's eyes, for she had added, with the tone of apology and
explanation: "Old Tad Dufry. They found him layen dead
on the big road. He was a mean man, but Harris never killed
" I read about that part in the paper," Mr. Munn had said.
"He never done it," the woman had insisted, her small,
clay-coloured fingers beginning to move aimlessly over the lap
of the faded blue crepe-de-chine dress.
" Tell me all about it," he had commanded her, " from the
That had been in early August. 1 lie office had been hot,
and outside, the sun had filled the street with a white incan-
descence. The heavy awning over the office window, with that
glare beyond it, had seemed to be no more than dirty tissue
paper. Mr. Munn had known that he would not get out soon
m the coolness of his house. He would stay here listening to
tills woman, who sat very straight on the edge of her chair,
a miserable straw hat with a ribbon on it stuck askew on her
te*4 red dust streaking the hem of her blue dress, and who
t&fed Ťo him in that dry and distant voice.